World Series, ‘Supergirl,’ ‘Bones,’ ‘Grimm’: Week ahead

24 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Supergirl’ is likable all right, but not so super.

After 12 years of keeping her powers a secret on Earth, Kara Zor-El, (Melissa Benoist) Superman’s cousin, decides to finally embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be, on the series premiere of CBS’ “Supergirl” premiering at 8:30 p.m.The younger hero, a Krypton native who resisted her superpowers growing up, embraces them as a 24-year-old who protects her earthly home, National City, from an intergalactic criminal onslaught in CBS’ Supergirl (Monday, 8:30 p.m.

The one-hour superhero show premiering on CBS Monday at 8:30 p.m. (it moves into its regular Monday 9 p.m. time slot next week) adapts the popular DC Comics character with some “Frozen” style tweaks to her origin, Easter eggs galore for longtime comics readers, loving nods to the great Christopher Reeve “Superman” films and astounding visual effects. The series moves to its regular time period, 8-9 p.m., on Monday, Nov. 2. (Darren Michaels/CBS) CLEVELAND, Ohio – CBS is suffering from a severe case of superhero envy. She’s just happy to use her powers at all,” says Melissa Benoist, who plays TV’s newest superhero and her alter ego, Kara Danvers, a mild-mannered assistant for a great, metropolitan multimedia empire. “I like to think of this season as a crash course in how to be a superhero,” she says. “It’s about someone learning and understanding who they are and how to harness their strength and use it to be the best possible person they can be.” “Every time I’m flying, I’m having a blast,” Benoist says on set, clad in her Colleen Atwood-designed outfit, complete with knee-high boots, short skirt and leather cape, all in red, contrasted by a textured blue jersey sporting the iconic red “S.” The fun of entering the DC Comics canon can’t be underestimated, says Chyler Leigh (Grey’s Anatomy), who plays Alex Danvers, Kara/Supergirl’s adoptive sister and a top scientist and operative at a secret agency. “Everybody’s inner nerd loves the comics and that whole life,” says Leigh, decked out in an all-black agency ensemble complete with a utility belt that might make Batman envious. Executive producer Greg Berlanti, who has had success overseeing CW’s DC Comics-inspired Arrow and The Flash, sees a connection between Benoist and Christopher Reeve, who played Superman in Richard Donner’s 1978 film. “Melissa’s very optimistic and hopeful, qualities you see in Kara,” he says. “She exhibits what I think (Reeve) did in terms of that affability and familiarity.

Kara sleeps frozen in suspended animation for more than 20 years, until her ship finally reaches Earth — where she is greeted by a grown Kal, now Superman. And ABC certainly likes the heroic ratings posted by “Marvel’s Agents of “S.H.I.E.L.D.” CBS, which specializes in forensic-heavy crime dramas, has more viewers than any other programming entity. Her mission derailed, young Kara is taken in by foster parents the Danvers — played in cameos by original “Supergirl” star Helen Slater and “Lois & Clark’s” Superman Dean Cain — and their daughter Alex. Cut to the present, where a spectacled Kara (Melissa Benoist, “Glee”) works in National City (a shoutout to DC Comics’ earlier incarnation) for media tycoon Cat Grant (a hilariously campy Calista Flockhart, “Ally McBeal,” channeling “The Devil Wears Prada” boss-from-hell Miranda Priestly). Being browbeaten on a regular basis is not fulfilling for Kara, who dreams of doing something meaningful with her powers, like her cousin in Metropolis.

But superheroes have been in short supply at CBS since the 1970s and the glory days of Lynda Carter’s “Wonder Woman” and Bill Bixby’s “The Incredible Hulk.” This has left CBS programmers green with envy — green as deadly kryptonite, green as the Arrow’s costume, green as the Joker’s hair. And the workplace comedy component is different, too. “The fact that we’re able to do a little bit of that screwball comedy (Superman was) able to do so successfully makes it a little different.” In a field long dominated by men, Supergirl provides a superhero role model for girls and young women, but she symbolizes values anyone could admire, Benoist says. Emboldened by her first act, Kara disregards Alex’s warnings and dons — after a fashion faux pas or two — the familiar red-and-blue suit, thanks to her office BFF Winn (Jeremy Jordan, “Smash”).

But she draws the fire — literally — of both a shadowy organization trying to control metahumans and an ex-Phantom Zone criminal named Vartox, who wields an atomic ax. “Supergirl’s” dazzling special effects are matched by its heartfelt sisterly bonds. There’s nothing genuinely super about “Supergirl,” which fields an uneven series opener that’s a ragged mix of fun possibilities and annoying drawbacks. Introducing Superman’s pal James — don’t call him Jimmy — Olsen (Mehcad Brooks, “True Blood”) as a sexy love interest is a savvy, unexpected move. Wearing glasses and assuming the mousy persona (sound familiar?) of Kara Danvers, she goes to work for incredibly tough media mogul Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart). Here, she finds friends and allies in IT technician Winslow “Winn” Schott (Jeremy Jordan) and anything-but-nerdy James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks), a rugged and famous photographer.

Soon after taking to the skies, Kara learns of a super-secret government agency headed by Hank Henshaw (David Harewood), and she learns that her foster sister (Chyler Leigh) is somehow involved. It all leads to a new direction, a new costume, the inevitable showdown with a supervillain and the revelation of a must-have evil genius determined to destroy Supergirl. The relationship between Kara and Alex could prove to be one of the more compelling aspects of “Supergirl” (much more interesting than the same-old-same-old Kara and Kat exchanges).

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